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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Left: The Elegy, Right: Becoming Perfect”Left: The Elegy, Right: Becoming Perfect

    Left: petroleum jelly, oil, acrylic, light Right: water, oil, silicone, acrylic

Mary Overman

  • Art
I am an Art Professional

artist bio

Overman received her BFA in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin, Stout and has since returned to Milwaukee to pursue a career in the arts. Her desire to pursue art stems from the importance of creating a discourse within the gallery space. In pursuit of dialogue, she has been engaged in various components of the arts, including curating and teaching and is a current artist-in-residence at the 10th Street Gallery in Milwaukee.

Rather than working in one medium, Overman bases her choice of materials on what will allow the viewer to best gain insight into the concept. Painting, sculpture and installation provide the varied outlets needed to express the nuances of Overman's research in bioethics. As an undergraduate at UW-Stout, Overman received the 2008 - 2009 Bud and Betty Micheel Student Artist-In-Residence Grant, the highest honor available in the Art Department and has hence moved forward to become a nationally and internationally exhibiting artist, having shown work in DC, Illinois, Texas and Italy.

artist statement

My content is derived from bioethical discussions based on the pursuit of perfection as well as identity construction within biomedical advancements. My sculptures create a dialogue for what Gerald Gruman, author of A History of Ideas About the Prolongation of Life, described as the "underlying psychological and social determinants of longevity and humanity's longing for its attainment."

Within bioethics I emphasize issues of perfection and perception through either existing or conceivable biomedical technologies created to enhance human performance or extend life. The apologist perspective often rejects biomedical enhancement for the reason that death is natural and must occur. This view is compelling not only because it is often poetic, speaking of the rise, fall and movement of life, but also because it demands that we accept our own end. However, I am compelled towards new technologies that work towards the amelioration of an imperfect human body. My work is meant to compel the viewer to question their place in and interaction with biomedical advancements, notions of perfection and the evolution of self-perception within these ideals.